Feature Request: long document variables wrap to next line

Feature requests, and in-depth discussions of features and the way Mellel works

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How important is it that long document variables wrap to the next line instead of running off the page?

Very important, please implement this as soon as possible!
14
70%
Somewhat important, please implement this eventually.
3
15%
I wouldn't benefit from this, but support it in principle as long as it doesn't delay other high-priority features.
3
15%
I don't think any time should be spent implementing this. :-(
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 20

jolinwarren
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Feature Request: long document variables wrap to next line

Post by jolinwarren » Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:38 pm

Sometimes my documents have very long titles. Whether or not you personally agree with long titles, sometimes I have to use them for a variety of reasons. Currently, I set the title for my documents using document variables in the "Document Info..." sheet. I then insert the "Document Title" document variable into the body of the document.

This normally works well. But if the document title is too long to fit on one line, it does not wrap around to the next line. Instead, it simply runs off the side of the page (or both sides if I have the title centred). This means that I end up just manually typing the title, defeating the point of having document variables.

This is also a problem with long document titles and 'mentions' in headers and footers. So when I have a document with a long title, I can't take advantage of the document variables to type the title once and insert it into the top of the document, footers, etc. which will automatically update if I change the title.

I would like to see long document variables wrap to the next line when necessary. What do you think?

rpcameron
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Post by rpcameron » Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:24 pm

I voted for it being very important, but I think that's because this is more like a bug to be fixed than a feature to be implemented.
— Robert Cameron

analogue_man
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Re: Feature Request: long document variables wrap to next line

Post by analogue_man » Wed Jul 21, 2021 12:24 pm

As this has been an issue already in 2007, is there any fix to document variables not being able to wrap to the next line?

DavidH
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Re: Feature Request: long document variables wrap to next line

Post by DavidH » Sun Aug 01, 2021 8:45 pm

A document variable inserts its text on a single line with inelastic spacing between words, regardless of current paragraph attributes, spilling past the right hand text margin if necessary. This isn’t the behavior one would expect from a glossary facility or a text expansion utility that defined its expansions on a document by document basis. But it’s just the behavior one wants when including short titles, short author names, dates, and the like in special environments like headers, footers, captions, and title pages, environments organized on a line-by-line rather than a paragraph-by-paragraph basis. There one wants the spacing within the text to be inelestic, and text spilling into the right hand margin is a clear signal that the element one is trying to introduce is long enough to break the intended formatting and should be shortened.

Document variables are the way to obtain this result when the text one needs to introduce is “global,” independent of how long the document is and where the variable appears in the document. Page variables are the way to do it when the text is “local,” dependent on the current page or current total page length. Mentions are the way to do it when the text depends on the current section or where we happen to be in some other autotitle flow. All three features of Mellel handle inserted text in the same way as far as I can tell.

If you think with the participants in that 2007 survey that Mellel needs a document based text expansion feature that respects paragraph attributes and allows expansions to flow over line breaks, by all means ask for one. But document variables as they stand are doing important work they couldn’t do anymore if they were modified in the way suggested. (I made this point once before in this forum, back in 2019.)

Icelander
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Re: Feature Request: long document variables wrap to next line

Post by Icelander » Thu Sep 09, 2021 6:38 am

DavidH wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 8:45 pm
If you think with the participants in that 2007 survey that Mellel needs a document based text expansion feature that respects paragraph attributes and allows expansions to flow over line breaks, by all means ask for one.
I don't think analogue_man was asking for a text expansion feature. And since he has never visited the forum after he posted in July, I guess we will never know.
DavidH wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 8:45 pm
A document variable inserts its text on a single line
…and that's exactly what people are complaining about.
[…] it’s just the behavior one wants when including short titles
Sure, but analogue_man and others want to insert long titles. :–)

There is no passage in the Mellel Guide which stipulates that a document variable should be restricted to one line. On the contrary, this is one of those notorious limitations we are so frequently confronted with in Mellel. "‪Regarding variables not breaking", Eyal wrote in 2014, "this is a limitation. We plan to fix it soon […]."
Ahem, talking about soon, … this was 7 years ago!

Compare this with Nisus Writer Pro (NWP), and then more limitations in Mellel become apparent, …limitations which I consider a matter of grave concern.
1) In Mellel one can not search for variables. In NWP the user can search for both the value of the variable, i.e. the content of the variable, and the label, i.e. the name of the variable. You can search for the content of a document variable in the same way as you search for any (other) text, and the Formatting Examiner palette in Nisus allows you to search for the name of a variable.

In Mellel you can neither search for the label (the name) nor for the value (its content.)

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3649&p=19572&hilit= ... les#p19572

2) Wouldn't it be great to have variables in text boxes too? In NWP you can insert Document Variables into text boxes. In Mellel this is not possible!

3) Mellel has a limited number of 20 Document Variables. Nisus has an unlimited number of "Custom Properties" (= Document Variables.)

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